Approaching the TED Conference

The TED Conference is coming up in a week in Long Beach, California. As one of the TED Fellows selected from around the globe for presenting ideas worth spreading – I’ll be speaking about the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) on Feb. 28.

The talk will be going online towards the end of March on the official TED website. By then, as a result of the TED Conference, we will have likely established many more key contacts – in terms of substantive GVCS project development towards completion within 2 years and a $2.4M budget. It won’t be easy – and it will take True Fans, product sales, serious resource development, and increased visibility – matched by the recruitment of a solid development team and the streamlining of a parallel, technical development methodology.

I’m going through my pre-performance anxiety right now. This event is intense – that is certainly in the air about it. I’ve been told that access to the TED network as a Fellow means access to any person on this planet. This carries with it huge potential as well as responsibility. I’ve also been told that Fellows are especially well-nurtured at the TED event – as many participants tend to find the Fellows particularly interesting. I’ve also been told that all speakers, including Nobel laureates, celebrities, Hollywood directors, and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors get the pre-game jitters before their TED appearance because of the high-level crowd that they will find themselves in.

I’d like to report that I’m going periscope down for a week until the conference and for the week of the conference. I need to spend my full attention on this magical opportunity. I am currently preparing my presentation, and networking with some of the participants. Already, I have met another open hardware industrialist, TED Fellow from 2010, Dominick Muren of The Humblefactory. We’ve begun discussing a pattern language for  the open source technology. The excitement is intensifying. I expect TED to be a mindblowing crash course on the latest trends of civilization, with the added benefit of direct interaction with the authors of that story.

I have been rather quiet in blogging, but much is happening behind the scenes. This brings up the point that we need assistance in blogging. There is much that remains unreported as we transition into organizing a rapid, parallel development infrastructure for the Global Village Construction Set – and I can’t keep up with all that is going on and blog at the same time. So if you have the skills to ferret out and compose interesting stories from the goldmine of content that we have already produced, and keep on producing, see this blogger role description if you would like to get involved. The basic requirement would be at least one blog posts per week, which would complement our updates from the development team as the real parallel development unfolds.

As far as a practical wish-list for TED – if I were to find somebody who is the most critical to the success of this project – who would I want to meet? Let me know your thoughts. I will think about this before leaving for TED.


  1. Jacques

    Congratulations and all my wishes for this great opportunity !

    I’m sure people will get interested and doors will open !

    Keep as natural as you are, transparency and nature is part of the project 😉

  2. Ricardo

    That will be great!!

    Don´t forget to try to get in contact with some TED veterans like:

    Clay Shirky, he studies the open source phenomenon and its effects in society since a while, he probably has some gold tips for you;

    Richard Baraniuk, founder of Connexions, a free, open-source, global clearinghouse of course materials;

    and Jimmy Wales, creator of Wikipedia, doesn´t need to say anything 😉

    Good luck!!!

  3. Anon

    Been following this project for several months now and just became a true fan. All the best.

    I also wanted to know if you guys are aware of Google grants. They give non profit organisations free advertising through their adwords. If you don’t know about it, its definately worth a look

  4. Kent Hastings

    Awesome! Now that you’ve hit the big time remember us little people.

    Karl Hess, Jr. was supposed to speak at our Karl Hess Club last night, but his flight from Virginia suffered mechanical difficulties and he couldn’t make the trip. Maybe next month. Oddly enough, Tibor Machan was attending, thinking he was scheduled to speak from misreading the announcement, and provided his prepared talk a month early. So it worked out for the club.

    I edited about half of your remarks from the Open Up conference (appropriate to a right wing person, like “it costs a million dollars to live but if you’re like us, it’s FREE”) along with other clips to make a compilation, and mailed the DVD to a moneyed investor. I’ll let you know how it’s perceived in a week or so.

  5. Kent Hastings

    Oh, and congrats on the MAKE Magazine vote.

    Regarding people who you might want to chat with (whether they’re at TED or not), I was favorably impressed with Paul Wheaton’s interview on The Survival Podcast talking about his and Sepp Holzer’s concepts.

    Wheaton runs personal site and the forum and is active at Facebook.

  6. Miquel

    This moment is really exciting, I cannot believe you are going to give a TED talk!

    I think the challenge of giving a TED talk is the balance you need to keep in the two factors: Concentrate the most of your idea/experience into a short-condensed, powerful message (every minute counts), but at the same time be able to talk in a very natural way, the words and sentences must *flow*.

    It is NOT like a normal speech.

    OTOH it probably all goes well the whole time, precisely because it’s great people talking about things they are passionate about. What can go wrong? 😉

  7. julia

    You earned this, now go and wow them with what ya got!

  8. LucasG

    Imagine a few True Fans in the crowd. We’d like to be there on the 28th!

  9. Eleftherios Kosmas

    Marcin, considering the worldwide effect of the TEDConference I am looking forward to see even more people all over the world talking about Open Source Ecology.

    I am wishing you the best in TED.

  10. Marcin

    Fellows Reception on Day 1. TED Curator is speaking in this video about the Fellows:

  11. Marcin

    Meet another Senior Fellow that I met today. She started :

  12. Marcin

    Meet a fellow TED Fellow, Suzanne Lee, who is doing innovative work on growing fabric, with bacterial bioculture –

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